Grace

Photo by Tanya Datt on Unsplash

I’ve been wanting to get up at 5am, and I accomplished that this morning. I downed two shots of espresso because I’m not Superman, and I opened my Bible. Annie’s sermon yesterday morning has presented some repentance in me, and I needed to review God’s thoughts as she presented them.

She beautifully connected Matthew 6.25-34 to Matthew 7.1-6. I had never heard those two passages being connected even though they touch each other like a married couple. I totally agree with her hermeneutics.

When we possess the worry, fear and anxiety of the world we look for places to put it, and many times that is in the ungodly judgement of others when the sin in our lives is rampant. Judging is a constant struggle. My sin and insecurity produce the kind of judgement I use for others.

The fruit of worry is going to make you judgmental. -Annie F. Downs

Annie reminded me that I am less judgmental when I remind myself of my own brokenness. I must take grace and leave judgement. I do not naturally invite grace in because the sinful nature is such a block for it. I can invite grace in, and it will come, but the intentionality must be present. I’m not a puppet subjected to the evil purposes of a puppeteer, but if I’m not intentional about the internal necessity of inviting grace in it won’t be present.

2 Corinthians 12.8ff is difficult Scripture. I understand it, and I’m experiencing it, but it doesn’t make it easy. I don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. You and I know that my thorn in the flesh is depression. Paul and I have asked God to take away our thorns in the flesh. This passage seems to indicate God never did for Paul, but the jury is still out on my thorn.

I am hyper-sensitive. I notice things “normal” people do not. Some of that is related to the fact I am a high achieving firstborn, and I developed a bad habit of unrealistic expectations for others. My conservative fundamental background was a breeding ground for self-righteousness that shut others out when they didn’t measure up to my standards. I can be a Pharisee. I can be a rich snob even though I don’t have any money yet too.

I loved another thing Annie said.

Call it what it is, and trade it in.

I know Jesus was empowered from on high, and his relationship with the Father was epic. Their union is infamous in the Gospel of John. His work here on Earth has made our connection with the Godhead more than a foxhole prayer, and I could not be more thankful for that reality. Repentance is not only a reality we can lean heavily upon, but victory is possible in the God Father. He’s make me an offer I can’t refuse. The power at my disposal is inward, outward and epic. Not even my demise can take that from me.

When I call on his name he will empower me to extend grace to others. Judgement is for him alone, and my sin is not for others to condemn. This is a radical theology that not everyone will choose to believe and practice, and I myself will do it imperfectly. He still extends life even though I deserve death.

Annie closed her talk with Philippians 1.2, and that’s where I am closing my post. I love you guys.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ.

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